Psychotic break watch: Day 1

Whether you are a marxist with camping skills or a Nazi looking for a fresh start, no place says "Hola!" like Latin America.

- Jon Stewart

Tomorrow I leave for two weeks in El Salvador and Guatemala. In the interests of safety, I spent $138 on chloroquine anti-malarial medication, also known as crazy pills, and promised my mother I would not befriend any gang members from the leading Los Angeles-based gang exports Mara 18 and Mara Salvatruchas (MS).

Notice I said nothing about EX-gang members. LOOPHOLE!

I almost didn't get malaria pills because one side effect - it's rare but it's there - is the psychotic break. I thought that maybe having a psychotic break would be more of a drag than having malaria. Until I talked to Sara who has actually had malaria. Sara told me that when she wasn't feeling extremely ambivalent about living or dying, her physical capabilities were this:

Hear a noise to the left and start to turn head in that direction. 45 minutes later head makes it all the way over. Have to use the toilet urgently, knowing you will soon shit yourself. Hour-and-a-half later make it to the bathroom, having shit yourself, but at least you're in the right place for round two which will start any minute.

That makes a psychotic break look pesky by comparison and far more interesting. So I took my first pill five hours and so far don't feel any more loopy than usual. The other best malarial travel advice I've gotten is to drink a lot like the British colonials in India who diluted the bitter anti-malarial quinine taste in tonic with gin.


Anonymous said...

Okay,nice picture of Sara, but if you don't mention me at some point I am going to stop reading you.
Anyhoos, I love you and hope you don't go more psycho than usual, stay away from the tequila, and have loads of fun. When you get back lets meet up in San Fran.

Anonymous said...

malaria does sound awful and so do the british. i'm all for the good ol' crossing the fingers and hoping for the best. all i've ever come down with is a bit of recurring giardhia (sp?), which is not so fun, and not so somantic as malaria or psychosis.

be good. learn some new gang signs for me.